APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT: AN INTERACTIVE, NON-TECHNICAL PERSPECTIVE OF THE GEOLOGY AND GEOMORPHOLOGY OF THE OURAY PERIMETER TAIL, CO.
Abstract:Each year people seek respite from their busy lifestyles by traveling to state or national parks, national forests or wilderness areas. The majority of these parks were established in order to help preserve our natural heritage, including wildlife, forests, and the beauty of landscapes formed from thousands of years of geologic/geomorphologic processes. Whilst being able to enjoy the tranquility of nature, tourists are being robbed of a more in-depth experience as a result of the lack of a geologic background. One such location that attracts a large number of summer tourists is the perimeter trail in Ouray, Colorado. Located in the Southwestern portion of Colorado, Ouray is situated in the beautiful San Juan Mountain range along the “Million Dollar Highway.”
The Perimeter trail is a six-mile trail loop that circles the city of Ouray. The city is a very popular place for summertime tourism because of its unparalleled scenery. Ouray is situated in an area that is riddled with textbook angular unconformities, metasedimentary, sedimentary, and volcanic rocks. In the study area, The San Juans have been beautifully sculpted by an array of major faulting events, glacial activity and volcanics.
With the understanding that technology is ever expanding, we think there is no better way to experience the Perimeter Trail than to have an interactive application that will be both educational as well as interesting. This application is a non-technical way of looking at the geology and geomorphology of the perimeter trail. Additionally, a paper brochure shows the most noteworthy points of interest. The brochure contains a brief geologic history of the San Juan Mountains accompanied with annotated photographs to illustrate the complex geology/geomorphology encountered on the trail.
The application is based on an interactive three-dimensional map, which can be zoomed to various scales. The app hosts a locational service that uses the phone’s GPS to communicate location of the hiker on the trail. This project developed a simple, yet effective application that will not only guide hikers along the trail, but also aid in educating the thousands of tourists that visit the area yearly.